While revenues for Ticketmaster Entertainment rose 7 percent to $373.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, the company’s profits spiraled down almost 80 percent to a mere $7.2 million as the impact from the loss of Live Nation as a client took effect. Pending possible federal regulatory approval, the two rivals are proposing to merge before the end of the year.

For the same quarter in 2008, Ticketmaster’s profit was $32.7 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization also dropped 17 percent to $59 million for the 2009 quarter. Ticket volume dropped because of the loss of Live Nation, which launched its own ticketing operation in January, but two of Ticketmaster’s 2008 acquisitions, Front Line Management and secondary ticket company TicketsNow, helped drive the single-digit increase in revenues.

In a statement, Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff seemingly shrugged off the news about the drop in quarterly profits. “Ticketmaster is executing well on its business strategy during a challenging economic environment. We believe we are laying the foundation for a stronger, more efficient organization, while continuing to build out transparent, fan-friendly processes that will benefit all of our customers and create long-term value for shareholders.”

Both Ticketmaster and Live Nation remain optimistic that the merger deal will close in the second half of the year, and according to Ticketmaster more than half of its bank creditors have signed off in favor of the deal.

TFL and ATBS for ticketing professionals